More initiatives of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft
More initiatives of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft

Games Funding in Hamburg - the Perfect Place to Advance Your Game Projects

Need funding to realize your game project? Find out more about the funding opportunities in Hamburg, the Prototype Funding of up to 120,000 euros or the Games Lift Incubator with financing and knowledge for your first milestones. Get to know the City of Hamburg - the place where you can grow your studio.

In this article:

As a historical merchant city, Hamburg has always been a place where entrepreneurship is highly valued. And of course, Hamburg appreciates the art of video games. In fact, the Hanseatic city has been actively supporting the medium and the surrounding industry for 20 years now. That’s where Gamecity Hamburg, among many others, comes in. Since 2003, our location initiative founded by the City of Hamburg is dedicated to support the games industry by funding, nurturing and mentoring local game developers, founders and start-ups, as well as strengthening networks and promoting the local industry.

Photo by Jan-Marius Komorek

We run multiple programs to support you early on with the development and marketing of your game, each one focused on one particular phase in the road from concepting, pitching, creating, launching and selling your very own video game. Whatever your needs, Gamecity Hamburg is there to support and connect you - for example with the Gamecity Hamburg Prototype Funding, a dedicated program that offers up to 120,000 euros for your project or with the vast network of international experts supporting our Games Lift Incubator.

Keep reading to learn which program is the right fit for you and your project:

Prototype Funding: Fund your (proto)type of game!

You’ve got a clear vision for your video game but a lack of funding is holding you back from showing off your first playable impression to publishers and business partners? Well, worry no more: The Gamecity Hamburg Prototype Funding is just what you need. This program is tailored to studios, developers and founders in Hamburg that are eager to build ambitious game projects and aim to create a prototype to further convince investors of your vision.

Projects can be supported with up to 120,000 euros in non-repayable funds, covering a maximum of 80 percent of the eligible costs. Additionally, the funding from Gamecity Hamburg can also be combined with the German federal games funding, providing teams with even more support on the challenging road of game development. And the success of the Prototype Funding speaks for itself: Until 2023, 28 projects have already been supported with a total of 1,65 million - and yours could be next!

Photo by Jan-Marius Komorek

For the next round of Prototype Funding, we’ll be accepting applications from early 2024. Feel free to contact us anytime to learn more about the program and how to prepare your application.

Still not sure about the program? You can check out two prototypes developed with the support of our funding right here at our dedicated Gamecity Hamburg booth at the Indie Arena Booth in hall 10.2. Try out “Light of Atlantis” by Team DrownTown and “Misgiven” by Symmetry Break and see for yourself!

Games Lift: Let us (and numerous international experts) help you give life to your idea!

If your project is still in its early stages and you want to work on the concept and first development steps intensively, the Games Lift Incubator is just the thing for you. Creating and refining the core concept of your video game is essential. Everything else - including a prototype build - is built upon this very foundation and our Games Lift Incubator program will support you in reaching these first important milestones.

Photo by Selim Sudheimer, Games Lift Graduation 2021

Each year, up to five teams can participate in an intensive, three-month long program during which the teams receive 15,000 euros funding as well as a comprehensive workshop and mentoring program with experienced professionals from the international games industry and office desks in a co-working facility. Following the program, each team will receive additional coaching during the next 12 months to support them even further. 

Ten teams have already successfully completed the Incubator program since its inception in 2020. One of them is also accompanying us to gamescom this year. Swing by our Gamecity Hamburg booth and check out “About Cannons & Sparrows” by About Cannons + Sparrows!

Sounds interesting? Check out our video below, explaining the Games Lift program in just 45 seconds!

The home for your studio - with great dev networks and tailored funding

Hamburg is the perfect place to found, grow and become sustainably successful with your own studio or games-related business. We’re here to support you - whether you’re already about to develop a prototype or are submitting your ideas to participate in our Games Lift Incubator. The Hanseatic City of Hamburg is host to a plethora of emerging and established developer studios and publishers, ranging from industry giants with local branch offices like Square Enix and Capcom to some of the biggest German developers and publishers like InnoGames, Bigpoint and Goodgame Studios to globally successful indies like rose-engine or Daedalic Entertainment. Regardless of their size, every studio can make Hamburg its home.

Photo by Stephanie Lampe, Hamburg Games Conference 2022

This strong and close community of indie game developers also enables you to find new contacts and make business connections more easily - for example during the Indie Treff, a regular meetup of local indie devs where you can network, play games and always learn something new about the industry. If you’re thinking even bigger, go and participate at the International Hamburg Games Conference, one of the most important B2B events in northern Europe. You are also always welcome to join the Gamecity Treff, our casual networking event that brings together the gaming industry of Hamburg multiple times a year. And when we’re talking about the games industry, we mean the entire games industry - not just developer studios but also gaming outlets like 4Players, ComputerBild and Ingame as well as the influencer and media outlet Rocket Beans TV. Any way you slice it, Hamburg is the place to be if you're looking to work and interact with the games industry.

Photo by Stephanie Lampe, Hamburg Games Conference 2020

Gamecity Hamburg is just one of many major organizations offering support for businesses in Hamburg. The Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft, of which Gamecity is a part of, is a great source when it comes to affordable office space for creative businesses. It is also running several more support programs like an initiative to financially support you to set up a crowdfunding campaign. Meanwhile, the IFB Hamburg provides development loans and investments for further support of growing companies. And if you happen to be at the very beginning of your games career, you might be interested in the over 12 universities and education programs in gaming that Hamburg has to offer.

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